"The Masque of the Red Death"


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"The Masque of the Red Death"

  1. 1. Unity of effect: • every element - plot, character, setting, and imagery - helped create a single effect, or mood.
  2. 2. Where does terror begin?• What makes us afraid of things that can’t really hurt us? Recall times when you were frightened for no good reason. Describe what triggered your fear and why. How much of your terror was the result of your own imagination?
  3. 3. Can a terrifyingfeeling ever be enjoyable? Under whatcircumstances?
  4. 4. Allegory• Characters and objects stand for ideas outside of the work, such as good and evil. They are meant to teach a moral lesson.
  5. 5. • Ex. The man pushed the rock uphill. He struggled for a long time and almost reached the top. As he gave a last heave, the rock slipped and rolled all the way down. He had to begin again. He had already begun a hundred times.• (stand for a person’s life; the rock represents work, knowledge, other human endeavors)
  6. 6. Is safety an illusion?• How do we protect ourselves (from theft, our health). Do the precautions really keep the danger away, or do they just give us an illusion of safety? Chose example to support your answer.
  7. 7. Read the background infoon pg. 429 on theBlack/Red Death and its repercussions.
  8. 8. Dance of Death• an image from the period of the Black Death, where Death whirls figures to their grave. The image represented society’s fear of the plague.
  9. 9. Symptoms of the Red Death• sharp pains, sudden dizziness, profuse bleeding from the pores, scarlet stains upon the body
  10. 10. How were the victims treated by other people? • once the disease became visible, no aid was given • others didn’t want to get infected, were terrified of the sick
  11. 11. Mood• Terror and long lasting hardship• Fear- people died within a half hour
  12. 12. Prince Prospero• not daunted by the disease, he is happy and not upset by his lands being depopulated• calls 1000 of his friends to retire with him at an abbey, the friends are all of noble birth
  13. 13. Precautions taken by the residents of the abbey• welded the bolts so nothing could come in or go out• forgot the external world - could take care of itself• had ample provisions• refused to grieve or think• focused on pleasure
  14. 14. Reread lines 9-23. Which detailssuggest a mythical or fairy-tale setting? • the knights, the abbey, the prince, the ladies of the court • unrealistic idea of hiding in the abbey indefinitely
  15. 15. Gothic Room• the black room with red mosaic window; light makes the room look like blood; those that go in the room look wild and bloody - Red Death• Most scary of the rooms
  16. 16. Have you or someoneyou know ever tried toescape something thatseemed unavoidable? How does that experience help you understand whatProspero was trying to do?
  17. 17. Why did Prospero choose to hold the ball just as “the pestilence raged most furiously”? • after many months living in confinement, the people needed a diversion to maintain their spirits and endure boredom • Prospero refused to consider the threat outside the abbey.
  18. 18. Do you think theprince’s precautions willprotect those inside the abbey? Explain.
  19. 19. Masquerade• has a surreal and fantastic element• since reality was bleak and Prospero wanted to exclude reality from the abbey, he emphasized fantasy• masks allow for people to play roles, become someone else, and forget their troubles.
  20. 20. Nature can be a source of disease and destruction• normally, nature was a source of awe and inspiration to Romantics;• however, death and decay is a part of life, like in the poems• Nature is a source of power in all the poems and stories of the Romantics, sometimes the power is positive, sometimes dark and negative
  21. 21. Clock• serves as a reminder of time passing, the human life span, and death.• It stops all action with the chime - the giddiest turn pale, the musicians stop their music, the elder people turned to meditation
  22. 22. • As soon as the chimes are done, the people return to their festivities.• Not serious about examining their life and thinking about the afterlife.
  23. 23. Prince’s tastes and décor • Gothic, grotesque, some think him mad, phantasm, glitter, glare, bizarre. • His decorations were beautiful, disgusting, terrifying, delirious fancies. • Figures with mismatched parts. Dreams wander and live in the rooms
  24. 24. Midnight• Masked figure noticed• At midnight; the chimes are longest and allow for more mediation; People take more time away from revels and look about the room, noticing Death.• Midnight also symbolizes the supernatural and possibly the end of life
  25. 25. What details in lines 80-111 suggest that the partygoers feel an illusion of safety?• Illusion of safety: Prospero’s followers do not think him mad; the laughter when the peal of the clock fades.• Less safe than before: the fact that no one goes into the seventh apartment
  26. 26. Uninvited guest• elicits terror, horror and disgust from the onlookers;• had no manners;• tall, gaunt, in garments from the grave, mask resembled a corpse;• face of Red Death - splattered in blood, his mask looks real; scares even the crazy prince and the mad guests
  27. 27. Prince’s response• at first with a strong shudder, then with red rage; he is frightened of the Red Death, and isn’t as secure in the abbey as he pretends to be• Wants him unmasked
  28. 28. Allegory• The prince’s name suggests prosperity, or good fortune - ironic
  29. 29. How did the Red Death get into the abbey?• one of the guests might have been infected• the plague was punishment for prince’s selfishness and purposeful distancing from the world’s hardships
  30. 30. Themes• Their illusions of safety are shattered.• The larger meaning may be that all illusions of escaping death are foolish
  31. 31. How and why should these characters have behaved differently? Would it have changed the outcome?
  32. 32. What does each of the following reveal about Prince Prospero?• his response to the crisis in his country (lines 1-12) – Self centered and callous• his solution to the threat of disease (lines 15- 23) – seeks pleasure and company• his plans for the masquerade (lines 86-94) – a little odd, possibly insane, enjoys a garish spectacle• his response to the masked figure (lines 144- 152) – he is arrogant and does not accept challenges to his authority
  33. 33. Allegorical Meanings• Prince Prospero: – human arrogance. Details: his name and position, his plan for the ball, his lack of fear of the room.• The abbey: – illusions of safety. Details: the guests lock themselves in it and revel.• The rooms: – the stages of life. Details: seven rooms going from east to west; Prospero races through them, death comes at the end.• The clock: – time, warning of death. Details: its effect on the guests; its location in the room of death.• The masked stranger: – death. Details: his costume; he kills Prospero and the guests.
  34. 34. • Consider the desperate measures the characters take to achieve safety. In what ways, if any, do their behaviors reflect real-world responses to a deadly threat? Support your answer with details. – Many people run away from crises because of fear and try to forget their problems through reckless pleasures.
  35. 35. Some critics have arguedthat “The Masque of the Red Death” takes place in Prospero’s mind. Cite details from the story that support thisinterpretation. How does this view change the story’s meaning?
  36. 36. • words like dreams, fancies, delirious, and phantasms• the comment that some thought Prospero mad• the unrealistic nature of the story; and the fact that Prospero is the only distinct character.• Not an allegory of life and death and more an illustration of madness